Author(s): Mengistu TS, Melku AT, Bedada ND, Eticha BT, Mengistu TS, Melku AT, Bedada ND, Eticha BT
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: In developing nations, the spread of STIs/HIV infection continues to affect millions of young and productive population. In Ethiopia youths including university/college students are at greater risk of STIs including HIV infection often due to many risky sexual behaviors. Although there are some anecdotal evidences suggesting widespread unsafe sexual practices among university students, the paucity of research finding, especially in newly established public universities are the major bottle necks to commence feasible interventions. Therefore, this study was designed to assess the magnitudes and factors associated with risks for STIs/HIV infections among Madawalabu university students in Southeast Ethiopia. METHODOLOGY: An institution based cross sectional study was conducted from May-June 2012. A total of 390 students were selected using stratified then simple random sampling method. Descriptive statistics, binary logistic and multivariable logistic regression analyses were employed to identify factors associated with risks for STIs/HIV infection. RESULT: Combined risk measure showed that 51.4\% of students were at risk of having STIs and/or HIV infection. Practicing casual sex/sex for benefits with first sexual partner (OR = 3.9[95\%C.I: 1.86-8.03]), life time multiple sexual partner (had more than three sexual partners) (OR = 2.7[95\%C.I: 1.13-6.28]), and number of sexual partners in the last 12 months (four and above) (OR = 4.8[95\%C.I: 1.77-13.53]) showed statistically significant association with risks for STIs and/or HIV infection. Practicing casual sex/ sex for any benefit with their first sexual partner (AOR = 3.9 [95\%CI: 1.80-8.50]) and multiple sexual partners in the last 12 months (four and above) (AOR = 3.7 [95\%C.I: 1.15-11.80]) were found to be the independent predictors of risks for STIs and/or HIV infection. CONCLUSION: This study has identified risks and risk sexual behaviors for STIs and/or HIV infection on university students. The knowledge of the students towards STIs and/or HIV is unsatisfactory. More than half of the students were at risk for STIs and/or HIV infection. Casual/benefit based sexual relationship with first sexual partner and having multiple sexual partners (≥4 sexual partners) in the last 12 months were independent predictors of STIs and/or HIV infections. Therefore, university based, risk reduction and behavior change focused interventions are recommended.
This article was published in Reprod Health
and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior